Skip to main content

What project is more important? Charlotte planning organization to debate ranking of three projects

  1. Widening/Upgrading Independence Blvd. (US 74) to an Expressway
  2. Building the Monroe Bypass (US 74)
  3. Completing the Interstate 485 Outer Loop
How would you rank in importance and need of these three Charlotte Transportation Projects?

That's the current ranking of the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization, but that could change. They are meeting today to debate on shifting the priorities for the region's transportation needs.

And there's a little bit of political pressure too:

Governor Perdue has promised (during her election campaign) that construction on I-485 would begin this year, and it would be finished by 2013. But Transportation Officials admit that they don't have the funding to start now or even in the next few years.

To fulfill this promise, funding for other projects would have to be delayed in order to complete the highway. That could put projects like the widening and upgrade of Independence Blvd. way back on the "To Do List".

And in order to smooth the path in getting funding arranged - a green light by a shift of priorities by an organization like MUMPO - can help set the stage for it. If the local planning organization sees, the completion of I-485 as the top priority for the region, DOT officials can point to that to move money from other projects to the top of the list.

Though I would like Interstate 485 completed somewhat in my lifetime, I agree with the current MUMPO ranking and that improving and upgrading Independence Blvd. is and should remain the top choice.

Over the past 15 years, Independence Blvd. has been upgraded with interchanges at major intersections and better control of access to the various commercial/retail buildings and minor side streets. It has seen the elimination of numerous traffic lights allowing for quicker access to Uptown Charlotte from the eastern suburbs. So far the project has been completed from the Belk Freeway (I-277) to Albemarle Road (NC 27). The next phase of the project, which is staged to go all the way out to I-485, is to extend the expressway to Idlewild Road. This 1.4 mile extension is expected to begin in 2012. (You can see the plans for this segment here.)

The cost of this 1.4 mile upgrade is about $150 million - or just under 3/4ths the cost to finish I-485.

Story Link w/video:
Other projects to pay to fulfill Purdue's I-485 promise ---News14Carolina

Either way, its a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, what do you think?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route. The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 acc

I-73/I-74 and NC Future Interstates, Year in Review 2022

Another year over, already? 2022 turned out to be quite the year if you are a fan of new interstate routes, and it wasn't bad for some long standing favorites. As per the tradition, I will review what happened with I-73 and I-74, and then the other new and future interstate routes in North Carolina... Work continued on the one segment of I-73 under construction, the I-73/I-74 Rockingham Bypass. As of the beginning of December, work was getting close to being 2/3 complete at 60.1%. Progress could be seen from US 74 on constructing of the future interchange at the Bypass's southern end. Here's a look from US 74 East in September from Google Maps Street View: Here's a photo from US 74 West taken last week by David Gallo: Work is now scheduled to be completed in October 2025, though the road itself could open earlier that year.  Progress on I-74 earned more publicity in 2022 with the opening of 7.5 more miles of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway from US 311 (Exit 49) to NC

Interstate 605

Interstate 605 is a 27.4-mile freeway located in the Los Angeles Metropolitain Area.  Interstate 605 begins at Interstate 210 near Duarte and terminates at the Interstate 405/California State Route 22 junction to the south near the boundary to the city of Long Beach.  Interstate 605 is known as the San Gabriel River Freeway and has three unconstructed miles which would extend it south to California State Route 1 near Seal Beach.  Much of the corridor of Interstate 605 was built up from what was the original California State Route 35.  The blog cover photo is taken from the July/August 1964 California Highways & Public Works which featured the initial segment of Interstate 605 to open between Whittier Boulevard and Peck Road  Part 1; the history of the San Gabriel River Freeway and Interstate 605 The origin of what is now Interstate 605 begins during 1933 with the addition of Legislative Route Number 170 (LRN 170) to the State Highway System.  The original definition of LRN 170 was